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ONE FC Preview: Nicole Chua vs Jeet Toshi and Kevin Belingon vs Masakuze Imanari


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I believe Juan Wen Jie is injured and a replacement fighter is going to be announced any day so I am going to wait to preview this fight until an opponent for Quek Kim Hock can be confirmed.

4# Nicole Chua vs Jeet Toshi

This is the fight which has captured the imagination of the Singapore media because Chua is a Singaporean who is an accountant by day and a fighter by night. She also has a strong background in Muay Thai and has been given a crash course in BJJ by the team of black belts at Evolve MMA.

Toshi already has some professional MMA experience, she went three rounds at FCC 5 in Mumbai last month which might help to dispel a few nerves going into such a significant fight. Chua has never competed in MMA but she is surrounded by seasoned fighters at Evolve MMA who will be able to help her prepare for the experience.

Toshi is a seven time Indian national kickboxing champion whereas Chua has around ten pro Muay Thai fights under her belt. Although the national championships sound more impressive the standard of kickboxing in India is unlikely to be as high as the standard of Muay Thai in Thailand, where Chua has been fighting, so the Singaporean might have the edge in this department.

Both are relative newcomers to the ground game but there aren't any BJJ black belts in Mumbai and there at least nine at Evolve MMA so Chua should be at an advantage here. It could all come down to who copes better with the nerves and is able to relax and impose their gameplan better.

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5# Kevin Belingon vs Masakuze Imanari

This might not be the main event but it could easily be. Belingon is the rising star, undefeated in nine fights while Imanari is the seasoned veteran 12 years his senior and with three times as many fights.

The Filipino fighter has beaten some tough opponents but he has never faced anyone on Imanari's level before. he has been one of the top fighters in Japan for over a decade and is legendary for his brutal leg locks which have the potential to end careers as well as fights.

It will be a tremendous test for Belingon who is 9-0 and fast emerging as one of the top prospects in Asia. Team Lakay has a proven track record of training up international class fighters but will Imanari prove to be too much too soon?

Belingon needs to hit and run, to land strikes but stay out of range and try to outpoint Imanari and win a decision. He might risk going for a takedown late in the round if it is close but otherwise he should avoid the ground game at all costs.

Imanari is going to be doing everything in his power to grab a hold of one of Belingon's legs and if he succeeds it could be a short night for the Filipino. If Belingon can avoid the leg locks the playing field becomes much more event and anything can happen.

Never underestimate a Team Lakay fighter but Imanari's experience makes him a strong favourite. This is still one of the best fights on a star studded card and could turn out to be a defining moment in Belingon's career.

www.twitter.com/jamesgoyder

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